I am the head of only one of over 10.4 million single mother households in the United States of America (US Census Bureau, 2006). I also represent an even smaller number of single mothers who possess persistent ambition and discipline. In my experiences; these have been the key elements which forcefully raise the standard of expectation for us and our children. I’d like to begin by stating firmly from the bottom of my heart… do not pity me. Also if you are a single mother; it’s due time to put away the Kleenex and pull out the armor…
I’d like to express my personal views on relationships. Obviously nowadays kids are well beyond that tired line “Do as I say, not as I do.” In other words, it may be a bit difficult and hypocritical to try and teach your child not to smoke cigarettes if you have a Newport dangling from the corner of your mouth while you’re saying it! This same philosophy applies to our personal relationships. We cannot allow men to be in and out of our child’s life and expect them not to follow suit. We must lead by example. The biggest challenge is when you come to that fork in the road and you must decide if you want to allow your significant other to enter your child’s world. In my experience, this is by far one of the most critical feats in single motherhood considering the fact that the odds of today’s society are stacked against us like stone in the Great Wall of China . Not only must we gauge our mates according to their love, morality, respect, health, character, stability, trust, etc. but when a child is involved we must also be concerned with risks such as exposure to physical and sexual abuse, the 50/50 gamble of drama in the relationship with the biological father (if he is in the picture) and so much more! Hefty agenda, right?
Most times, we eventually begin to blame ourselves for decisions that were made during our younger years and this leads us to overextending ourselves to incredible feats to keep the biological father in the picture. Just to “keep the family together”, we begin jumping through hurdles, co-habitating, coping with cheating, lies, disrespect and all types of nonsense. We continue in our feeble attempts to defy destiny even when a higher being has done so much to try and pull you away. We become so naive, stubborn and blinded by love that we fail to realize the simple fact that the father could do more harm to the child’s upbringing and development by being there than if he was not. In other words, they say you may get what you want but you won’t want what you got.
We must separate matters of the heart from common sense and instinct and assess our individual situations accordingly. Does he provide what is needed in your home for your child’s welfare and safety? Does he have a positive influence upon your child and his/her outlook on what a man should be? Do you really want him for yourself but you’re using the child as an excuse? Is he constant and stable or sporadic and unreliable? These are pertinent questions that we must ask ourselves when making that defining decision not only for yourself but (more importantly) for your seeds. You see, when you become a mother, it is no longer about you and there will always be more hearts to break than one. Whether we want to admit it or not, every decision you make in your personal life will somehow affect your children, even your sexuality.
A mother is defined as a woman who conceives, gives birth to, raises and nurtures a child. But the process of nurturing is not just physical; it is also mental, spiritual, emotional and beyond. Hugs, kisses and material things do not suffice for, communication and quality time. Married or not, nearly any female capable of conception can be a mom but it takes ambition, selflessness and relentless passion to be a mother. So prior to every decision you are confronted with including but not limited to relationships, career moves and more; you must look in the mirror and decide if you’re a Mother or just a mom.
© Copyright 2008 by K.L. Shanks (Queen Unique)